How much should you give for a wedding gift?

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Getting an invitation to a wedding is an exciting prospect but deciding what gift to give the happy couple and how much to spend on it can be a concern. Read our guide to find out how much to spend on a wedding gift and how to choose the right wedding gift for friends or family.
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Wedding presents, marriage, gifts
What should guests spend on a wedding present?

How much to spend on a wedding gift in the UK?

Wedding traditions are different around the world but in the UK it is customary to give a wedding gift to the two people getting married or having a civil partnership ceremony.

It can be tricky deciding how much to spend on a wedding gift and there is no hard and fast rule.

How much to spend on a wedding present depends very much on how close you are to the couple, how long you have known them and what sort of wedding it is.

Traditionally, a couple would draw up a wedding list with items on it that they could use to furnish their new home when they first moved in together.

Now that many couple live together before they get married or have lived in their own flat or house for several years, there is less need for new crockery, cutlery and pots and pans.

Nevertheless, many couple like the idea of having a wedding list with special and memorable items for their home. 

How much money to give at a wedding

close up of bride and groom hands

Whether or not you actually attend the wedding, as a guest you are frequently expected to give a gift.

You do not have to spend a lot of money – often couples appreciate thoughtful and personalised presents that you have chosen carefully for them or that you have made yourself.

As a rough rule of thumb, this is how much you might want to consider spending either as a gift or a cash donation, based on calculations from Hitched.co.uk.

The guide is for individuals, so if you are a couple you might want to increase the amount you give.

Wedding presents to acquaintances, work colleagues and people who are not close friends

  • around £30

There is an unspoken hierarchy at a wedding and often it is only close friends and family who are invited to the ceremony and the reception.

If you are invited to a wedding and do not fall into this category and are invited to the evening event only, you are not usually expected to bring a wedding gift.

Nevertheless, many people do, and usually spend in the region of £20 to £30, according to Hitched.co.uk

You could choose something thoughtful for their home together or an experience day that they could share at a later date.

Whatever you choose, make sure it is something that they will appreciate and which fits their personal taste.

If you do not know them well and you are stuck for ideas, or you do not really know their personal style, you could play it safe by giving cash or a gift voucher.

If you are wondering how much to put in a wedding card, around £20 to £30 is a generous amount.

You have been invited to the wedding ceremony, meal and evening reception

  • up to £75

If you are an all-day guest then the happy couple will probably have spent around £100 on your meal and drinks, so a gift of between £50 and £75 is appropriate.

Of course, all gifts should be based on what you can personally afford, and your friends will not want to get into debt just to give them a wedding gift.

If you are close friends, a gift of £75 is considered about the right amount. If you are a couple and know them well, a joint gift of £100 to £150 might be expected.

You should also base your gift on how lavish the wedding is going to be. If the couple are spending hundreds of pounds per person on the meal and venue then you might feel obliged to match it with a more generous gift, subject to what you can afford.

bride dancing

If the couple are getting hitched abroad

  • around £75

Pre-Covid many couples opted to get married abroad, often on a sun-kissed beach or a far-flung destination.

Depending on their financial means, sometimes all travel and accommodation costs are paid for by the couple or their family. More often, you are expected to foot the bill yourself.

If your trip is fully paid for, then a more generous wedding gift is in order. If you are funding the travel expenses yourself, then a gift of around £75 is still customary.

For this reason, you should factor in all the costs of attending the wedding abroad before you accept the invitation.

Remember you will need to pay for your food and accommodation except on the wedding day and will need to buy a new outfit as well as provide a wedding gift.

You will also need to budget for the cost of the stag or hen party before the actual Big Day.

If you are very close friends or family

  • around £100

If you are related to one half of the couple or you are good friends, then a gift of around £100 is appropriate. 

You can either choose an item from their wedding list or think of something which is very meaningful and personal to them.

Often couples draw up a wedding list with a variety of different gifts which are in different prices ranges so all guests’ budget needs are accommodated.

Occasionally they might include a “big ticket” item on their list which you could buy for them if you are feel especially generous, or which you might want to buy jointly with another family member.

This could work out well if there is something special which they would like to include on the list but which might be too expensive for one person on their own.

How much to give for an engagement party?

If you are invited to an engagement party there is no obligation to bring a gift, although people often do.

You are not expected to bring a gift to a stag or hen party.

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